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Being Sued Well Over 2years After An Accident

Discussions relating to Personal Injury Law

Being Sued Well Over 2years After An Accident

Postby Einian » Fri Nov 25, 2016 10:58 pm

Hello,

In the summer of 2009 I was visiting my mother in Florida from England. She rear ended a car that hadn't moved though the light had changed back to green a bit before, though we have no idea what she was doing(texting or talking on her phone but obviously not paying attention to the light) my mom was at fault and we waited through all of the formalities, until the police said we could go home. My mom has just receieved a letter stating that she is being sued for personal injury and I feel useless living thousands of miles away, the only witness of the light change and knowing that the woman's car was at most slightly dented or perhaps scrathched. My mom is far from a rich lady and has no one to turn to for help. Any advice you could provide would be greatly appreciated. I'm pretty sure she had full coverage on her car as it was brand new and don't understand why this is coming to her and not her insurance company.
Einian
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:19 pm

Being Sued Well Over 2years After An Accident

Postby Roddy » Sun Nov 27, 2016 7:50 am

 Hello Caney,

Several issues here.  First, it would appear that your mom was at fault for the accident.  In most all cases, a driver who rear-ends another driver is responsible.  Now there could be some extenuating circumstances here, but liability does not seem to be an issue.

As to your mom's insurance coverage; in Florida PD(Property Damage) is required.  That being the case, the other driver could have filed a PD claim right after the accident for repairs to the other vehicle.  Alternatively, if the other car had Collision coverage,the driver could have filed a claim with their own insurance company for damages to the vehicle.  The catch here is that if the other insurance company paid for those damages it would be nearly certain that they subrogated their payment to your mom's policy.  What that means is that they did not assume responsibility for the accident and they "went after" your mom's coverage for reimbursement.  If a claim was filed and if subrogation was paid, your mother's insurance company should have informed her of this.  In paying subrogation, they are agreeing that she was responsible for the accident.  Certainly she has the right under her policy to give her account of the events.

In Florida we also have No Fault, or PIP(Personal Injury Protection).  PIP pays for medical expenses related to an accident up to $10,000 regardless of fault.  This means that if the other driver was claiming injury from the accident she would first need to seek treatment via her on own PIP.

If the other driver is now alleging that the injuries are permanent or disfiguring and that he/she has suffered as a result, that driver can seek benefits under your mom's BI(Bodily Injury) coverage.

BI is not mandatory in Florida.  Not having BI means one is completely unprotected from injury claims submitted by an innocent party.  One should ALWAYS have BI.

In the case of a new car that is financed, the lienholder will require Collision and Comprehensive in order to protect their interests in the car.  But a lender will not require BI Liability coverage because it does not effect them.  So it is possible that your mom had no BI coverage.

If one does have BI, the insurance company is obligated to defend the insured for BI damages(those sustained by an innocent party) up to the limits of the policy.  If one does not have BI, there is no protection afforded.

Here's what your mom needs to do.

She needs to check her insurance policy(look for the declarations page) to ascertain exactly what coverage she had in place on the date of loss.  Alternative, she can call the agent that sold her the policy or the insurance company itself.

She needs to know if there is an underlying PD claim or subrogation payment.

If she does have BI, she needs to inform her insurance company IMMEDIATELY about the suit so they can defend her.

If she does not have BI, she needs to hire an to defend her NOW.

One more point.  It is unusual for attorneys to file suit on parties that have virtually no net worth.  Perhaps they are searching for "more coverage".  In any event, your mom cannot do this alone.  She needs an attorney.  And, regrettably, if she has no BI she will have to pay for the lawyer herself.  The consequences of not having a lawyer could, however, be far more costly.

She needs to get on this right away.  If she is finding this confusing, she can to both of my websites for additional detailed information.

Hope this helps.  Good luck!

Jane Pytelhttp://SolutionsForYourInsuranceClaim.com http://FloridaAutoInsuranceCentral.com  
Roddy
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:56 pm


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